Grief & Loss During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many of us to change the way we go about our daily lives. Many of us have experienced a wave of losses: economic, social, physical and emotional. For some, these losses can accumulate over time and lead to feelings of grief. Why is this important? It is only once we acknowledge the experience of grief that the healing process can begin.

While it may come as a surprise to those who associate grief solely with death, all loss may contribute to the plethora of responses usually associated with bereavement. Elizabeth Kubler Ross and David Kessler have described grief as stages – denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance – that make up our learning to live with loss. This framework is a helpful guide, but it is important to remember that in reality it is not a linear process. We may travel back and forth between stages, which can feel like a roller-coaster of emotions.

In this webinar, we will be exploring how experiences of grief and loss may be impacting members of our campus community and how a deeper understanding of these concepts can help us move forward. The discussion will revolve around:

  • An understanding of how disruptions to traditional ‘rights of passage’ and uncertainty around the future course of life have affected both students and their families.
  • An explanation of how the grief and loss from these experiences can turn into something more complicated and the ‘6-month window’ that is connected to this.
  • Some pragmatic steps to take to help members of our campus community (students and staff) move forward.

 

Presenters

Dana St. Jean holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Windsor and has twenty years experience working in the public mental health sector with children, adolescents and adults. Dana currently holds the position of Pandemic Response Therapist with the Canadian Mental Health Association, Windsor Essex County Branch. This position was established in April 2020, through the donation of the Toldo Foundation. The Pandemic Response Therapy Program provides individuals with brief psychotherapy services with focus on grief and bereavement, anxiety and mood related concerns as well as increased distancing and/or isolation stress during the pandemic. 

 

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